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Research on the Technology Used in the Choir Windows of Bern Minster

The research on art technology focuses on two particular techniques, which until now have been neither systematically surveyed nor published, viz.: preliminary drawings on the back of the glass, and the exceptional use (for the time) of cold painting. Firstly, the research should enable us to properly understand the application and the extent of use of preliminary drawings, and in particular ascertain how they relate to the architectural drawings employed in the construction process. Secondly, it will examine the extremely unusual fact that, instead of silver stain – which was widely employed from about 1300 onwards to produce an intensely luminous yellow when fired onto the glass – a yellow cold paint was used on the so-called Mühlefenster, and this to much less effect. Since both of these investigations are relevant to the design and the execution of monumental stained glass, they should cast new light on the creation of the windows in the choir of Bern Minster. Furthermore, it is hoped that the project will result in additional knowledge of little-known technological procedures, and hence be of benefit to stained glass research in general.

Research at the Vitrocentre conducted by Stefan Trümpler and Sophie Wolf

The project is sponsored by the Swiss National Science Fund, the Berner Münster Stiftung and the Burgergemeinde Bern.

Further information on the overall project can be found under: http://www.ikg.unibe.ch/content/forschung/forschungsprojekte/berner_muenster/index_ger.html.

Vitrocentre Romont – Au Château – P.O. Box 150 – CH-1680 Romont – Phone +41 (0)26 652 10 95 – Fax +41 (0)26 652 49 17 – cr:vasb:ivgebprager.pu